By: Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — After a Payne County detention officer got sick and learned he had antibodies for the coronavirus that causes Covid19, Sheriff Kevin Woodward said the Payne County Health Department quickly responded to do testing for the virus throughout the courthouse the next day.
“I can’t thank the Payne County Health Department enough — 380 tests the next morning is awesome,” the sheriff said.
“A detention officer got sick on Saturday the 13th while he was working at night and was sent home, told to go to the doctor, and take the test.
“He got the results on Tuesday the 16th at noon. He notified us at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday,” the sheriff said. That detention officer remains quarantined at home, the sheriff said.
“The Health Department came in 24 hours and tested everyone,” in the courthouse who wanted a test along with all 180 inmates on Wednesday the 17th, the sheriff said.
One prisoner, who was already in isolation and remains there, showed positive for coronavirus, the sheriff said.
“He transferred in from another facility. We’re taking precautions with him,” the sheriff emphasized.
Regarding the detention officer, who tested positive, “I only had 8 to 12 people that had been exposed to him. They took the test. No one else was exposed,” the sheriff said.
About 300 tests for coronavirus were given in the courthouse last week, the sheriff said.
“We offered the test not only to the Sheriff’s Office, but everybody in the courthouse,” the sheriff said.
“The Health Department trained our medical people on how to give the test. They left us 100 tests — now we can test for coronavirus.
“We had been putting inmates in holding tanks until they go through a 14-day isolation.
“Prisoners in the detention tank are away from everybody else, not the general population.
“Now that we can test them, I’m moving them out of the isolation tank faster,” the sheriff said.
“I am extremely grateful to the Payne County Health Department,” he added.